While you might not have heard of Longreads there’s a good chance you’ll be using it either on your own blog, or your favorite daily read. Founded five years ago, the company has never taken outside funding and has been doing just fine thanks to $30/month paid subscriptions for premium members.
Longreads CEO Mark Armstrong had this to say about meeting Matt (founder of WordPress/Automattic) and sealing the deal:
I first met Matt four years ago, and we have always had a deep respect for him and the principles of his company. We also quickly realized that Longreads’ goals and Automattic’s goals were complementary: For us it is to serve readers the best storytelling in the world, and for Automattic it’s to power a world where publishers and writers have the freedom and independence to own and control their own space on the Internet, and to then produce their best work using those tools. (Source – Longreads blog)
So what exactly is Longwords and why were the folks over at WordPress so interested? Longreads makes it easy to send curated links to long-form content. Given that WordPress blogs tend to have a lot of long-form content, and making it easy to share that content is pretty darn important this is a pretty logical move for Automattic.
Huge congrats Longwords CEO Mark Armstrong and the whole team. They stuck to their guns and built something they believed in, they did it without funding, watched it grow, and just sold to one of the most influential Internet companies of our time. Well done!